There are measures every fish farmer must take, in order to prepare a fish pond for stocking.
The procedures involved are determined by the type of fish pond or improvised system the farmer has chosen to adopt for their fish farming venture. This article discusses procedures applicable to concrete and tarpaulin ponds preparation for stocking.
The tarpaulin pond
Because these ponds (or fish holding tanks) are made from synthetic fibre or plastic material, they usually let out strong smells, capable of suffocating especially young fish when new. The following measures need be taken to rid new tarpaulin surfaces of this suffocating loose deposits of synthetic material.
The basic principle is to expose the tarpaulin surface to adequate surface area of organic matter, causing these loose deposits of plastic to be absorbed. These procedures are as follows.
• Mount the tarpaulin pond on its frame, ensuring a balance fit for water retention
• Fill up the pond with fresh water
• Introduce good quality of organic matter into the pond water. Typically used organic materials include leaves, soft stems, poultry droppings, animal (pigs, cattle, goats, rabbits) dung, grain or cereal chaff etc.
Bulk organic matter of loose texture can be tied up first in a porous sac or muslin bag, prior to placement in pond water. This will ease evacuation from the ponds during cleaning, after preparation is accomplished.
• Leave pond with its content open for 96 – 168 hours. During this period, microbial activity upon organic matter in the presence of water will help to enhance absorption of most loose traces of harmful tarpaulin material.
One good way to get a hint to how safe the pond will be for fish is to look out for the survival of insect larvae within this pond water. Successfully detoxified tarpaulin ponds should already be colonized by insect larvae by the 4th to 7th day of treatment.
• On completion off the 96 hour (or more) perio, remove all organic material load within the pond and let out all water.
• Wash pond thoroughly but carefully using clean water and common salt. Other mild disinfectants such as wood ash can also be used for this purpose.
• Rinse pond thoroughly with clean water again and again.
• Fill pond afresh with good quality water and viola… you may introduce your fish into the pond and watch them swim.
Remember to take good care of the fish henceforth.
Concrete fish ponds
Many beginner farmers have heard the word “lime” being used among fish farmers. They soon ignorantly assume that lime has to be used in preparing all kinds of fish ponds. In this article, we emphasize aloud that lime needs not be used in preparation of concrete fish ponds for stocking. In fact, the default composition of a brand new concrete pond system is likened to what is obtainable in an already excessively lined pond.
The target, thus, for a fish farmer should be how to detoxify newly constructed concrete ponds, from their intrinsic excessively lime – like nature.
The recommended procedures applicable to preparing newly constructed and renovated concrete fish ponds for stocking are exactly the same as those outlined as applicable to tarpaulin ponds.